Kyphoplasty is a technique for treating vertebral compression fractures, which are small breaks in the thick mass of bone that makes up the front part of the vertebra (the vertebral body). Vertebral body fractures lead to the collapse or compression of a vertebra, causing the spine to shorten and curve forward. This can result in pain and a hunched-over deformity.


During the kyphoplasty procedure, the patient will lie on his or her stomach. Our doctor will insert a hollow needle, called a trocar, through the skin and into the vertebra. A type of X-ray, called fluoroscopy, is used to guide the trocar into proper position.

Once the trocar is in place, either cement (vertebroplasty) or an inflatable balloon-like device (kyphoplasty) are inserted into the vertebra through the trocar. During a kyphoplasty, as the balloon is inflated, it opens up a space to be filled with bone cement.

After Care

Walking is the best exercise after the surgery. It strengthens muscles, increases endurance, relieves stress and most importantly - helps to keep proper blood flow, the bowels moving and keeps fluid from building up in the lungs. Soon after surgery, a patient is encouraged to get up and walk and gradually increase the distance. The sooner a patient becomes active, the sooner he/she will resume their normal routine.

• Do not lift more than 5-10 pounds for the first few weeks after surgery. This may be increased to approximately 20 pounds after 4-6 weeks. Do not lift anything greater then 20 pounds for the first 3 months.

• Avoid prolonged upright sitting on hard surfaces or long car rides (more than 2 hours) for 2–4 weeks.

• You may drive as soon as it is comfortable to do so, which is usually after about one week following discharge from the hospital. You should not drive while under the influence of pain medications.

• Limited bending or twisting of the cervical or lumbar spine is advised.

• Avoid activities where there is the potential for a fall or physical contact until cleared by the doctors at The Spine and Pain Center.